On the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic, people are ready to fall back in love with New York City. And there’s no better way to do that than to actually leave your apartment and explore the city.

If you love a good photo op or just want an excuse to go outside check out these six “instagramable” places around Manhattan that will remind you why you live here in the first place.

The Upper East Side

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Eat Pretty (@eatprettyues)

 

The upper east side might not have the most artistic reputation but don’t count out this neighborhood’s hidden Instagram gems. The UES boasts Central Park and the steps of The Met among its iconic photoshoot locations.  But if you’re looking for something that isn’t all over your feed already why not visit Eat Pretty located on 83rd Street between York and East End Avenue. The café stands out like a pretty pink thumb on the tree lined block in Yorkville. It’s a tiny place but don’t let that fool you they have a large menu, outdoor seating and each table is decked out with its own pink striped umbrella and bouquet of flowers. Grab an iced coffee or a pastry and take the viral selfie your followers have been waiting all year for.

Lower East Side

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Jeanine … they call me J9 (@dressedtothej9s)

Looking to add some color to your social media feed? Then you’ll probably want to check out the Lower East side. This neighborhood is full of unique murals from artists all over the world. A recent favorite is the Ruth Bader Ginsburg portrait on 1st Avenue and East 11th Street. The piece was created by ELLE, an Australian female street artist whose work is becoming recognized worldwide. ELLE recently collaborated with Reebok. RBG’s passing in 2020 inspired this feminist memorial mural. Justice Ginsburg was the second female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. If that doesn’t belong on Instagram, then what does? Grab your best friend and head downtown to snap a photo. If you love the mural, you can purchase a print of the work from ELLE’s website.

FiDi

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by McNally Jackson (@mcnallyjackson)

If murals don’t fit your Instagram aesthetic, head to the McNally Jackson book shop located in the South Street Seaport District in Lower Manhattan. This spot is a book lover’s paradise, it has two floors and a café inside as well as several reading nooks you could easily spend the whole day in. A block away from the store is the waterfront so grab a book from McNally’s and shoot a photo on the docks and maybe even catch a tan. You could also take a brooding picture in their café If that suits your vibe. There’s no better way to support independent bookstores than visiting in person. All of our Amazon accounts could probably use a break anyway.

Chinatown

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Jose Raul Jimenez Lopez (@jrjimenez26)

Chinatown is a great place to shoot content because there is no shortage of interesting streets, colorful restaurants and great Chinese food. The infamous Doyers street between Pell and Bowery, recently received a rainbow makeover by Chilean street artist Dasic Fernandez that rivals the yellow brick road. The mural has 44 colors! Doyers street is pedestrian only from 10am to 9pm. There’s also a great dim sum restaurant on the corner. Put your name down at the restaurant and while you wait for a table get your phone out and snap away. Chinatown was one of the hardest hit neighborhoods in the pandemic as tourism dropped significantly hopefully murals like this one will draw in the crowds. 

Washington Heights

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by The Met Cloisters (@metcloisters)

Washington Heights might be the star of Lin Manuel Miranda’s new movie but it’s also home to The Cloisters, a museum overlooking the Hudson River. Washington Heights is still Manhattan and if you haven’t visited yet, you’re missing out. If you’re a fan of anything Medieval this is the museum for you. What makes it instagramable is the architecture. The museum itself mimics a Gothic castle and also has gardens for visitors  to enjoy in the spring and summer time. This landmark might make you forget you’re in NYC at all. And if nothing else it will definitely transport you to another time in history. Hop on the A train to Dyckman Street and bring your imagination.

Meatpacking District

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Little Island (@littleislandnyc)

Have you ever visited a floating park? Now’s your chance. Little Island opened to the public on May 21st of this year and it is proving to be one of the best places to visit if you’re in need of a great picture or if you’re a longtime New Yorker who thinks she’s seen it all. The island is open from 6am to 1am every day and reservations are required. Little Island is located off West 13th Street. Grab your tickets from littleisland.org. If you don’t see any tickets available dont worry, try again next month, as reservations are released four weeks at a time.  

There’s plenty of noteworthy spots in Manhattan that didn’t make the list but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of an instagram post. If you have a secret gem you want us to visit or think we should know about, leave a comment below! 

Alexandra Palmer
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Alexandra Palmer is a writer and actress. She graduated from NYU with her Master's in Journalism; she has been published in Al Jazeera America.